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Fundraising, poetry, tricolour cake: Indian expat kids turn creative

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on August 15, 2020
SALUTE TO FREEDOM FIGHTERS: Mishal and Mir Faraz, Aditi and Aaditya Gandhi, and Medha and Mishika Mishra, are all set for the celebrations to mark the 74th Independence Day of India.

Due to the pandemic situation, most events are going virtual this year.

Indian expats in the UAE are turning creative to mark the country's Independence Day as most events are going virtual this year.

Thirteen-year-old Medha Mishra is planning to mark the day by raising funds for a cause. "I decided to raise funds by selling my old books to provide drinking water and masks for workers and gardeners at the Arabian Ranches community, where I live," she said. Medha and her five-year-old sister Mishika is also organising a Zoom meeting to sing the national anthem.

Siblings, 10-year-old Aaditya and eight-year-old Aditi Gandhi, have already taken part in the online poetry competition organised by the Indian Consulate in Dubai. "The subject of the competition was 'Self Dependent India'. Due to the pandemic situation and social distancing norms, we will virtually witness the Indian Independence Day celebrations. We are proud of our country and will salute the tricolour flag," they said.

Thirteen-year-old Mishal and nine-year-old Mir Faraz are unsure of the scale of celebrations at Red Fort in New Delhi this year. "Watching live telecast is how we begin marking the occasion every year. Also, friends would come over to celebrate with a tricolour cake. We would also have fun with quizzes based on facts and trivia of Indian history," said Mishal.

"However, this year, it'll be a quiet celebration at home. We won't be having friends over since it's best to avoid social gatherings. But we'd be up early to watch the live telecast, we'll bake a cake and then settle down together to watch a movie or documentary about India's journey to independence," she added.

Schools to celebrate virtually

Indian schools in the UAE will witness a relatively sombre ceremony with only its immediate staff attending the event. Virtual events are being rolled out to engage its wider audience. "We were in the process of finalising whether to have the flag hoisting ceremony virtually or physically. We decided to do it at school maintaining social distancing norms. The ceremony will be attended by members of the senior leadership team," said Annie Mathew, Principal, Gulf Model School.

To keep the patriotic spirit alive, cultural programmes have been scheduled, said Mala Mehra, Principal Central School, Dubai. "Virtual assembly, freedom fighters fancy dress, , tricolour dance, patriotic songs and inspiring messages from the school leadership will be shared to mark this day," she said.


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